About Updating Projects from Previous Versions of Final Cut Pro

Almost every version of Final Cut Pro has new features that require the project format to change. The current version of Final Cut Pro can open projects from any previous version. For more information, see Choosing Project Update Options.

Before Updating Projects

Before updating projects from earlier versions of Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Express, consider these things:

  • Third-party effects scripts, or scripts that you’ve already written or customized, may need to be modified to take full advantage of the use of Y′CBCR color space in Final Cut Pro.

  • All Final Cut Pro effects take advantage of the Y′CBCR color space. If you used any of the effects listed below in projects created with Final Cut Pro 1.2.5 or earlier, the effects may look slightly different when you re-create the project’s render files.

    • Video Transitions: Map/Luminance Map, Wipe/Gradient Wipe
    • Video Filters: Blur/Gaussian Blur, Channel/Invert, Image Control/Brightness and Contrast, Gamma Correction, Levels, Proc Amp, Sepia, Tint, Key/Blue and Green Screen, Color Key, Difference Matte
    • Video Generators: Matte/Color
  • QuickTime transitions and filters do not take advantage of the Y′CBCR color space. They always render in RGB space.

Keeping a Copy of Your Project in an Older Format

When you open an older project, Final Cut Pro updates the format to the current version. However, the updated project only exists within the Final Cut Pro application, not on disk, until you save it. This means you can save a copy of the project in the current version and still keep the older one on disk.

To keep a backup of your project in its original format
  1. In the Finder, choose a project from an earlier version of Final Cut Pro, then choose File > Duplicate (or press Command-D).

    If you want, you can rename both the original or the duplicated project to indicate its version number. For example, you can add “_v5” to the end of a project file associated with Final Cut Pro 5.

  2. Open the duplicated project in Final Cut Pro, then choose File > Save.

You can open and use projects created with earlier versions of Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Express, but you need to specify how you want Final Cut Pro to handle the color space in these files.